REEFS & DIVING
Without a doubt, the best and most well… known Cozumel attraction is the Great Mayan Reef Barrier 2nd largest in the world, Spectacular reefs, surround the island. There are 26 classes of corals identified in Cozumel. Cozumel is recognized as one of the top diving destination in the world, but you do not have to be a diver to enjoy this underwater scenery. Because of the clarity of the water (100 to 200 feet visibility) offering miles of coral reefs that are ideal for snorkeling and divers from novices to the most advanced. It has breathtaking drop-offs for the experienced diver. All are considered excellent dive sites by Caribbean standards (which are among the highest in the world), that’s why and thanks of efforts done by activists, most of the reefs are now within a marine refuge. In 1996, The National Marine Park of Cozumel Reefs was created.
And the government declares as a protected zone this covers most of the reef system from north to south, along the east side of Cozumel. The area consists of 11,987.5 hectares, where you will find mountain coral, soft coral, brain coral, star coral, finger coral, leaf coral, Elkhorn coral, stag horn coral and gorgonians. It is also home to tube worms, feathered annelida, anemone, crabs, reef shrimp, mollusks, echinoderms and sponges, plus 500 fish species.
You are prohibited from taking, breaking, or damaging any underwater organisms, the Cozumel dive operators through ANOAAT (Aquatic Sports Operators Association) and the Cozumel Reefs Marine Park require every diver and snorkeler who visit the marine park by boat to pay $2 USD. This will be used for the protection of the marine environment and the fragile ecology of the reef system. The hope is that this place will remain beautiful for generations to come, just as it has been special for many generations past.
For their dazzling variety and beauty, the reefs of Cozumel deserve their reputation as amongst the best in the world. Also contributing to their popularity is their access and availability year – round. The waters remains clear all four seasons and water temperature fluctuates from 25° to 28°C (77° to 82°F) with an average air temperature of 24°C (76°F).
For diving the coral reefs, walls and drift diving Cozumel’s guides are invaluable for their knowledge of the area and their ability to show visitors the hundreds of varieties of plants and animals. Most diving in Cozumel requires qualified, professional and competent guides.
Almost all hotels offer special packages for divers. Also, there are many dive shops and dive guides offering their services